Wins, Losses, and Empty Seats: How Baseball Outlasted the Great Depression

By David George Surdam | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Claudette Burke, librarian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, provided the impetus for this book. She suggested that I examine the New York Yankees’ financial records held in the museum’s archives. Her suggestion was certainly fruitful.

Professor Louis Cain of Loyola University of Chicago was another source of inspiration, when he suggested a decade ago that I pursue another subject, such as the economics of professional sports, after completing my book on the Union Navy’s blockade during the American Civil War. His suggestion, too, was astute.

George Rugg, curator of the Joyce Sports Collection at Notre Dame University, provided me with relevant sports periodicals, such as Baseball Magazine and the Sporting News, access to the Philadelphia Phillies’ financial records, and team scorecards. As with my book on baseball during the postwar era, George’s contributions loom large.

Mark Watson and Thomas Stave of the University of Oregon Knight Library provided encouragement and assistance in locating government materials, among other kindnesses.

Professor Erik Craft, of the University of Richmond, assisted me in locating weather data for New York City during the 1930s.

The University of Northern Iowa College of Business Administration provided a teaching reduction for Fall 2008 and funding for research. The college also provided funding for presentations at the So

-ix-

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Wins, Losses, and Empty Seats: How Baseball Outlasted the Great Depression
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Prologue Clash of Titans 1
  • 1- The Financial Side of the Game 5
  • 1- The American Economy and the State of Baseball Profits 7
  • 2- Why Did Profits Collapse? the Revenue Side 27
  • 3- Why Did Profits Collapse? Player Salaries and Other Expenses 59
  • 4- Farm Systems 95
  • Conclusion of Economic Side 109
  • 2- The Game on the Field 111
  • 5- Competitive Balance 113
  • 6- Player Movement 131
  • 3- Using League Rules to Aid in the Recovery 157
  • 7- Helping the Indigent 159
  • 8- Manipulating the Schedule to Increase Revenue 169
  • 4- Innovations to Boost Attendance and Profits 195
  • 9- Radio and Baseball 197
  • 10- Baseball under the Lights 219
  • 11- Other Innovations 247
  • 12- How Effective Were the Innovations? 279
  • 13- The Inept and the Restless Franchise Relocation 285
  • Epilogue the End of An Era 301
  • Appendix 1- Radio and Sunday Ball's Effect on Attendance 307
  • Appendix 2- Dramatis Personae 309
  • Appendix of Tables 315
  • Notes 353
  • Bibliography 399
  • Index 405
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